The Phillies performed a 40-man roster cleanup on Wednesday afternoon and two of the players that were removed have landed with new organizations.
Raul Valdes, a left-handed reliever who posted a 7.46 ERA in 35 innings this season for Philadelphia, has been claimed by the Astros and Tyler Cloyd, a 26-year-old starting pitcher who had a 6.56 ERA in 60 1/3 innings this year with Philly, has been picked up by the Indians. You can expect more minor moves like this throughout the month of October. These players are not eligible for postseason rosters.
Some other notable transactions from Wednesday: the Astros added first base prospect Jonathan Singleton to their 40-man roster and officially declined Philip Humber’s $3 million club option for the 2014 season.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.